MFA application season approaches. I still don't feel like I have a great writing sample, but I've come to the conclusion I never will. I will never feel like I have written well enough until I get an acceptance letter, and even then I'll think, "whew, I snuck one past them." That's the trouble with finding your self-image as a writer in the opinions of others.
Honestly, I do think the stories I've written are good. The fact that not everyone agrees highlights the subjective nature of reading fiction. That's what makes me nervous about MFA applications. I can't be guaranteed a spot by just getting a certain score on the GRE (which I still need to take). I've been recently that I will just stop worrying about others opinions (within reason) and write what I believe God is leading to write.
The good news for today is that I finished the first draft of "Miracles for Americans." It needs a lot of work, but it's good to actually get to the end of a story. It's my longest story so far, coming in at 19 pages and around 7200 words, but I'm hoping to lop a bit of that off. So I'll be editing that and taking another pass at "Come on, Casper" to look over some changes I made a month or two ago. Hopefully I'll be able to communicate the humor I intended in"Miracles." I haven't had a lot of experience at humor writing, so we'll see how that goes. It'll never be a laugh riot, but I think it will have a lighter tone than "Casper."